European Union insists Iran nuclear deal must be part of any future pact

Saturday, 31 Aug, 2019

We're going to talk about ballistic missiles, we're going to talk about the timing", he said, adding: "But they have to stop terrorism.

Trump showed openness to the notion, a fact that has reportedly caused intense concern in Jerusalem.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, third from left, meets with French President Emmanuel Macron, second from right, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian, third from right, in Biarritz, southwestern France on August 25, 2019. The agency a year ago disrupted a Russian entity's efforts to use Internet trolls to foster discontent among American voters during the 2018 midterm elections, the Washington Post reported.

Iran's top envoy, Mohammad Javad Zarif, held talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday as part of his East Asian diplomatic push apparently to win Tehran relief from USA sanctions. Netanyahu's staff also contacted members of the USA administration to try to schedule a phone call. "We need to meet if there is a result", he said.

Israeli officials feared that an impromptu meeting could take place at the G7 summit between Mr Zarif and the US President.

In response, Iran recently dropped parts of its obligations under the deal and has threatened to do more if Europe does not take practical steps to preserve Tehran's economic interests under the deal.

"Without the US's withdrawal from sanctions, we will not witness any positive development", Rouhani said in a televised speech on Tuesday, adding that Washington "holds the key" to what happens next. U.S. administration officials also expressed misgivings about giving Zarif a PR coup.

It wasn't clear whether Trump knew that Zarif was on his way when he made the remark.

"The president said once again he is willing to meet with Iran's leaders", he said.

Donald Trump indicated an openness to discussions with Iran on a nuclear deal and said he was not looking for regime change.

Macron said he hoped Trump and Rouhani could meet within weeks in hopes of saving the 2015 nuclear deal that Tehran struck with world powers, but which the United States unilaterally withdrew from a year ago.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and General Director for Foreign Affairs of the Council of the European Union Leonardo Schiavo chat before the informal meeting of EU defence ministers in Helsinki, Finland on Wednesday.

A US official who spoke to the Washington Post also noted that the cyberattack was created to be damaging for Iran - but not to the extent that would further escalate tensions between the two sides. Last Saturday, Israel's military struck in Syria in what it described as the thwarting of an Iranian-led killer-drone attack on Israeli targets.